When a loved one enters an addiction treatment program, you may feel a sense of relief that they are finally getting the help they need. You may also be anxious about what will happen once they return home. Will they be able to maintain their sobriety? How will your lives change? What can you expect?
While these are normal concerns, it is important that you do not let them overwhelm your life. Remember that your own well-being is a priority, too. You can’t make changes for your loved one. You can only make changes in your own life and support them in making good decisions in theirs.
Educate yourself about addiction and recovery so can better understand what they are going through. While they are in treatment, attend any family programs that are offered to learn more about how addiction impacts the family and what you can do moving forward.
Avoid the temptation to micromanage their life once they return home from treatment. Trust that they have learned necessary skills in treatment and are able to implement them into their life. If you’re constantly looking over their shoulder or asking what they’re doing, it can add to the stress and pressure that they feel.
Continue living your own life as they live theirs. Don’t stop spending time with your friends, doing hobbies you enjoy, or engaging in other activities just because your loved one doesn’t do them too. Find sober activities that you can do together, but also feel comfortable doing things separately. Create a safe environment and let them know that you’re there to support them, but don’t force them do things with you or vice versa.
Connect with others through support groups or seek counseling for yourself. This can allow you to deal with the impact of their addiction on your life and promote healing and recovery. You’ll be able to talk to others who have gone through similar situations and provide support for one another.
Addiction recovery means change for everyone. You can’t go back to living your life exactly as you used to and expect different results. Everyone must work together to create a safe space that reduces temptation and risk of relapse. But it also doesn’t mean that you have to put your life on hold and give your loved one all of your attention. Together you must find balance and learn new strategies and communication that work for you to rebuild your relationship and life together.
Have patience and realize that recovery is a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. Find what works for you and your family. Your routine may look different than someone else’s. Focus on improving communication and problem solving, reducing stress, and promoting positivity. Set goals for yourself and don’t be afraid to try new things.
Crossroads supports clients and their families in building a healthier lifestyle. Long-term recovery from addiction is possible. Everyone can improve their own well-being and be a part of the solution.
[cta]Do you have a loved one in recovery? Contact Crossroads to learn more about our family support programs.[/cta]